FASTJET (TANZANIA) BECOMES A FRANCHISE OPERATION AS SOLENTA OF SOUTH AFRICA ACQUIRED MAJORITY STAKE
(Posted 26th November 2018)
Solenta Aviation of South Africa, following the recent acquisition of additional shares, now holds a majority in Fastjet PLC of over 54 percent, while the voting stock rose even higher to over 60 percent.
This puts Solenta now firmly in the driving seat of Fastjet PLC and its operations in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
It is also understood that the Fastjet Zimbabwe shareholders will sell their majority share to a new Solenta controlled company. Fastjet Zimbabwe’s fleet has been boosted with another Embraer ERJ145 to cater for double daily operations between Harare and Bulawayo but to also enhance on time dispatch reliability on the other routes from Harare to Johannesburg, Harare to Victoria Falls and Victoria Falls to Johannesburg.
For Fastjet Mozambique are the prospects now bright as new routes are reportedly being lined up, not just domestic but also into the region.
These developments in Southern Africa also pave the way for Fastjet to enter the South African market proper, thought to be happening next year, using one of Solenta’s aviation platforms, Federal Air, which is expected to be rebranded into Fastjet colours for scheduled flights from Johannesburg to major cities across the country.
Fastjet Tanzania will remain with two Embraer E190 aircraft while the planned introduction of three ATR72-600 aircraft has been shelved and the planes will be redeployed elsewhere.
Meanwhile were government’s alleged hostility and regulatory mistreatment blamed for Fastjet PLC throwing in the towel with direct operations in Tanzania and selling off its minority stake to local investors who will continue to operate the airline under a franchise agreement.
‘All with eyes to see understood that when the Tanzanian government poured mega millions into buying new aircraft for their previously moribund national airline, that they would ringfence Air Tanzania operations and give them as many advantages as they could get away with. Pulling traffic rights to Kigoma from Fastjet, denying them the registration of ATR aircraft and other related obstacles placed in their way cost Fastjet millions of Dollars. The Fastjet owners were being frustrated but the big loser is Tanzania because the country’s reputation of doing business here has taken another hammerblow. If I were Precision Air, I would be increasingly worried too now, especially over their links with Kenya Airways, given how this government is dealing with Kenyan investments and trade and especially any competitor of Air Tanzania on the local and regional market‘ said a regular commentator with long experience in the aviation industry from Dar es Salaam.